Monday, August 22, 2016

Mission Complete

Well hello everyone! 

So I'm writing to a couple more people this week than usual, so I'm going to fill everyone in on a couple details. I'm finishing my mission this week! On Thursday. I'm going home 2 weeks early so that I can start school at BYU next week. Crazy! So I wanted to send one last final letter to everybody. 

We were going to have a final baptism this week for our investigator Yassir. Unfortunatlely, he got a really bad fever and he started throwing up and just wasn't able to get ready in the end. But, I'm not too worried about him. He's progressing really well still, and if he keeps praying like he is right now I know that he'll be able to be baptized this week. It's kind of sad that I'm not going to be there, but I'm not worried about it. We had a great last week though... We worked super hard in spite of the fact that my companion Elder Correa is more burnt than pan casero left in the horno over night. He's a great guy. I actually get along with him really well, and we're great friends. But that's the truth of it. But we finished strong, had quite a few more lessons this week than normal, which I definitely was grateful for. I received a lot of blessings this last week. 

And... I can't believe I'm almost done. It doesn't feel real yet, to be honest. But it is real. And I'm going to miss these best two years a lot. But I couldn't ask for anything else. I literally read that this week in Alma 29:6. But I will be forever grateful for everything I've learned over these 2 years. For all the experiences I've had, for the testimony that I've received, for the people I've met that have changed my life, especially the companions I've had, and that I've been able to be an instrument in the Lord's hands to help even just a couple people come unto him. I wouldn't change this experience for the world. It's changed me forever. I think if I tried to be more specific than that about what I've learned it would take up a few more pages, and I don't want to write all of that, and I doubt that everyone wants to read all that. But these really were the best two years, as cliche as that sounds. 

More than anything else that I've learned on the mission I've come to know one thing for certain: Living the gospel is what makes me happy. I never knew that before the mission. And I wasn't very good at it before the mission either. But I realized very early in my mission, from the first couple months, that obeying God's commandments and living his gospel is what brings us true happiness. I've had hard times in my mission, and I know I'll have much harder times later in my life, but I know that living the gospel keeps me happy in spite of those circumstances. So, I'm going to keep doing that. 

Shoutout to Elder Clarke and my MTC friends... Whom I'm abandoning. Sorry I won't see you guys in a couple weeks. And another shout out to Elder Romero, Levander, and Castillo, who I will also be abandoning. Hahaha. 

And another shoutout to Grandma Ashcroft, who I hope is recovering very well from her knee surgery. 

And... I love you all. I'll see most of you on Friday :)

Elder Bingham
We ate lunch with President and Hermana Goates yesterday!
Elder Correa wanted to dance in their house.
Elevator selfie. Like old times when I was in the office. 

Monday, August 15, 2016

A bit of a poopy week

Hi everyone! 

I'm glad to hear everyone had a good week. That's a bit weird that the ward boundaries changed! Oh well. I probably won't be living there. 

You know... Our week wasn't too bad! It was just a little poopy. Literally. 

So... Everything was going about normal until about Thursday. Then Elder Correa woke up with a lot of stomach pains, and a lot of diarrea. A LOT. That's why I said this week was a poopy week. Anyway, he was really really REALLY sick. So that meant we couldn't leave the pensh from Thursday through Sunday. So... That sucked! I've never been so long in the pensh. But, at the same time I learned lots of things, like how to care for sick people,how to serve my companion better... I had lots of time to catch up on my journal and the My Plan thing that all the dying missionaries have to do... It was good. I guess. You've got to count your blessings...

And we ALMOST had a baptism this week. Yassir was really close! He had his baptismal interview on Thursday, but unfortunately he didn't pass the interview. It came up that he actually still hadn't prayed to know if the Book of Mormon was true and stuff, and he also still wasn't really sure why he was being baptized again if he had already been baptized. He wants to be baptized! But he wasn't so sure on that part. We thought we had explained those things pretty good... But apparently not. So we're going to postpone the baptism... And we hope to still be able to baptize him this saturday! I believe that if he does his part and prays to know... Then we'll have another baptism before I leave. Pray for him!

So... This is my last full week as a missionary. We plan on kicking butt this week. I hope nobody gets sick this week. 

I don't have much else to say... Except SEE YOU ALL NEXT WEEK! That's never felt so real. 

Elder Bingham

Elder Correa sick in bed

Selfies with people and old comps that died this last transfer

My last zone....

Monday, August 8, 2016

Still going strong

Well hey everybody! 

I'm glad everyone had a great week. Congratulations to Lauren and Nate! Hey! You should ask Lauren if she wants me to bring her something Argentine... Like mate! I figure she's probably missing things from Argentina. 

Well, week 1 of the transfer went surprisingly well. Elder Correa's really great, and he's actually being better than usual supposedly. I have no idea why, but I've for sure been blessed. We're still working really hard, and we're going to have a baptism this week! I think the change in area might have helped him... I think his biggest problem (from what President told me) is that he spent a lot of unneccessary time in people's houses in his last area because he was really good friends with them. Well now he doesn't know anybody super well, so I'm just taking him to all the important places that we need to go to, and we don't waste time in people's houses. So yeah! There's a few other things I'm getting used to about him, but we get along great, and he's been behaving himself well. He's kind of at the point in his mission where he doesn't really care about lots of the rules because he's almost home, but I've kept it in line well I think. I've got to pick my battles as well, but I'm just hoping we can keep progressing from here. So, things are going well here. 

I honestly don't know what else to say, just that I'm really excited that I'm ending the misison with another baptism. Yassir came to church for the 3rd time this week, and he's so ready! We've got to teach one more lesson, have a baptismal interview, and he's ready! I'm so excited. We're working in reactivating his uncle and grandpa still, but they're really close as well. We're really excited here!

My goal for now is to keep going strong with Elder Correa, and to endure to the end. I want to leave this area in good shape for the new missionaries that come next transfer. Since we're both finishing this transfer, there will be 2 new missionaries next transfer. I want to leave them with lots of investigators to work with. It's been difficult recently to find new investigators, and we dropped quite a few last transfer as well. And we're going to baptize one this transfer. So... If we don't find new investigators before I leave, there won't be a lot for them to do. So I hope to have some more success with that this week.

Well, that's about it! Have a great week everyone!

Elder Bingham

Monday, August 1, 2016

Literally the last transfer call I expected

Hi guys! Sounds like everyone had a great week! Let me tell you about mine!

So finally we had a better week in the area. We almost had normal numbers, and that was awesome cause we're working in 2 areas. We found a couple new investigators this week, and that made me really excited! Plus our investigator Yassir came to church again, so he's progressing really well for his baptism! I'm so excited! Also Ricardo came to church for the first time this transfer! He's finally in good enough health to do so. It was so great to see him again. 

And this Sunday we got transfer calls. We were really excited to get them, because we're really sick of this complicated situation that were in. And I don't know how President pulled it off, due to the lack of missionaries that were coming this transfer, but Elder Yugsi and I are both returning to our respective areas, with comps for each of us. Elder Yugsi is going to train. Now we won't have to work in 2 areas. I considered it a miracle, because I'm not going to be here for the whole transfer, and I had no idea what President was going to do with me. But I'm staying here in Sarmiento, my 5th transfer in the area. And my 10th transfer in this stake. I've been here for over a year. It's awesome. 

But here's the part I didn't see coming at all: I've got another special assignment from President. He called me again last night, just like he did when I was going to get Elder Yugar. He told me that he was proud of how well I did with Elder Yugar, and for that reason he's sending me this assignment.  My comp's name is Elder Correa. He's from Chile, and he's got the same amount of time in the mission that I do. In other words, he goes home at the end of the transfer. Here's the special assignment: Elder Correa is... well... In missonary language (I'm not sure if other missionaries say this in other parts of the world) we'd consider Elder Correa a bit apostate. He's got a really big problem for obedience. He doesn't do anything super extreme, he's been obedient enough to stay in the mission. But he has problems with his companions for this reason. President told me this last night: I'm supposed to help him end his mission as well as possible, in the tiny bit of time that I have left. I've known Elder Correa basically since I've been in the office. And I've heard lots of interesting things about him. The best part I suppose... Is that apparently he gets along well with lots of his comps. He just has lots of obedience problems. So... You get the idea. 

I didn't see this one coming. President has never ever EVER sent 2 missionaries together that are going home the same transfer. I'm most worried for this: I want to get along well with him, but I'm scared that it's going to be harder for me to be obedient in order to do it. I want to end my mission well.

So... Pray for me! Love you guys! I'm praying for you!

Elder Bingham

Making plantanes! Those green banana things! Delicious!

A bus selfie

Me and Elder Yugsi drawn by an 8 year old. I wish I had a tie like that.
Plaza Independencia
District Meeting
Plaza Independencia
District Meeting

Baptism of the Hermanas this week with Elder Warner
Another selfie
One more 

Cooking something